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so he seems to have thought that the whole terraqueous globe was at his command; and as he brought in a child at the beginning of a play, who in the fourth act appears as a woman, so he seems to have set geography at defiance, and to have considered countries as inland or maritime, just as it suited his fancy or convenience.”

Some of the incidents in this play may be supposed to have been taken from The Arcadia, book 1. ch. vi., where Pyrocles consents to head the Helots. The Arcadia was entered on the Stationers' books in 1588. The love adventure of Julia resembles that of Viola in Twelfth Night, and is indeed common to many of the ancient novels.

Mrs. Lennox informs us, that the story of Proteus and Julia might be taken from a similar one in “The Diana" of Montemayor. This pastoral romance was translated from the Spanish in Shakspeare's time, by Bartholomew Young, and published in 1598. It does not appear that it was previously published, though it was translated two or three years before by one Thomas Wilson. Perhaps some parts of it may have been made public, or Shakspeare may have found the tale elsewhere. It has before been observed that Meres mentions the Two Gentlemen of Verona in his book, published in 1598. Malone conjectures that this play was the first that Shakspeare wrote, and places the date of its composition in the

year 1591.




DUKE of Milan, Father to Silvia.
VALENTINE, } Gentlemen of Verona.
Antonio, Father to Proteus.
Thurio, a foolish Rival to Valentine.
EGLAMOUR, Agent for Silvia in her escape.
SPEED, a clownish Servant to Valentine.
Launce, Servant to Proteus.
PANTHINO, Servant to Antonio.
Host, where Julia lodges in Milan.

JULIA, a Lady of Verona, beloved by Proteus.
Silvia, the Duke's Daughter, beloved by Valentine.
LUCETTA, Waiting-woman to Julia.

Servants, Musicians.

SCENE. Sometimes in VERONA; sometimes in Milan; and on the

frontiers of Mantua.



SCENE I. An open Place in Verona.


Val. CEASE to persuade, my loving Proteus ; Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits: Wer't not, affection chains thy tender days To the sweet glances of thy honored love, I rather would entreat thy company, To see the wonders of the world abroad, Than living dully sluggardized at home, Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness. But, since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive therein, Even as I would, when I to love begin.

Pro. Wilt thou begone ? Sweet Valentine, adieu
Think on thy Proteus, when thou, haply, seest
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel :
Wish me partaker in thy happiness,
When thou dost meet good hap; and, in thy danger,
If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy bead's-man, Valentine.

Val. And on a love-book pray for my success.
Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee.

Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, How young Leander crossed the Hellespont. "

Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love; For he was more than over shoes in love.

1 The allusion is to Marlow's poem of Hero and Leander.

Val. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love,
And yet you never swam the Hellespont.

Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots.
Val. No, I will not, for it boots thee not.

What? Val. To be in love, where scorn is bought with

groans; Coy looks, with heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's

With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights :
If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
If lost, why then a grievous labor won;
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.

Pro. So by your circumstance, you call me fool.
Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll

Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at; I am not Love.

Val. Love is your master, for he masters you:
And he that is so yoked by a fool,
Methinks should not be chronicled for wise.

Pro. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

Val. And writers say, As the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turned to folly ; blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee
That art a votary to fond desire ?
Once more adieu : my father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipped.

Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.
To Milan, let me hear from thee by letters,
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Betideth here in absence of thy friend;
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.

1 A proverbial expression, now disused, signifying, “Don't make a laughing-stock of me.”

2 Circumstance here means conduct; in the preceding line, circumstantial deduction.

Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
Val. As much to you at home! and so, farewell!

Pro. He after honor hunts, I after love.
He leaves his friends, to dignify them more;
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphosed me;
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought;
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

Enter SPEED. Speed. Sir Proteus, save you: Saw you my master ? Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for

Milan. Speed. Twenty to one, then, he is shipped already; And I have played the sheep, in losing him.

Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, An if the shepherd be awhile away.

Speed. You conclude that my master is a shepherd then, and I a sheep?

Pro. I do.

Speed. Why then, my horns are his horns, whether I wake or sleep.

Pro. A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.
Speed. This proves me still a sheep.
Pro. True; and thy master a shepherd.
Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.
Pro. It shall go hard, but I'll prove it by another.

Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me: therefore I am no sheep.

1 The construction of this passage is, “ Let me hear from thee by letters to Milan."

2 In Warwickshire, and some other counties, a sheep is pronounced a ship.

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